WESTPORT, Conn. – For three years, Staples High School wide receiver James Frusciante wreaked havoc on defensive secondaries throughout the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Now, he’ll present the same challenges for football teams in the Ivy League.
Frusciante accepted a position on the football team at Princeton University on Wednesday. Frusciante had 45 receptions for 932 yards and 14 touchdowns last fall, helping the Wreckers to a 10-1 season and the league championship.
“When I went down there, I liked the campus and got along real well with the coaches,’’ Frusciante said. “I felt like I had a good connection with them.”
Princeton went 5-5 overall and 4-3 in the Ivy League last year under coach Bob Surace. He is a former NFL assistant who also coached at Western Connecticut State University in 2000-2001.
Frusciante said he wanted to attend an Ivy League school, and also considered Penn, Brown, Dartmouth and Cornell. He caught the attention of Princeton in his junior season, and maintained contact with them throughout the fall. He also attended a summer football camp at Princeton.
“It was a pretty long process, and it was kind of tough because a bunch of friends knew earlier where they were going to play,’’ Frusciante said. “I’m glad it’s over now.”
Frusciante had 87 receptions and 23 touchdowns during his career at Staples, where he also plays basketball. One of his best games last fall was in a 41-20 win over West Haven in the first round of the Class LL playoffs, when he caught four passes for 161 yards and three touchdowns. His 60-yard touchdown reception from Jack Massie on the first play from scrimmage set the tone for the romp. He also caught scoring passes of 48 and 41 yards.
Frusciante earned a boatload of post-season honors, the most noteworthy of which was selection as one of three wide receivers on the Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State team and MSG Network's All-Metro team.